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Johnston, Thomas L. D.

Born: 1837-01-10 Illinois

Flourished: Coles County, Illinois

Thomas L. D. Johnston was the first child and son of John D. and Mary Johnston, brother of Abraham L. B. Johnston, and nephew of Abraham Lincoln. Thomas suffered from an unknown physical malady that left him crippled. In 1850, he was living with his family in Muddy Precinct, Coles County, Illinois. Frequently running afoul of the law, Thomas received the assistance of his uncle in 1856 and 1857 after being charged with petty larceny. During the Civil War, Thomas received a pass from his uncle to travel around with the Union Army taking daguerreotypes. In January 1864, he was taking pictures behind Union lines in Vicksburg, Mississippi. After the war, Johnston continued to experience trouble with the law.

Family Record Written by Abraham Lincoln; Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, eds., Herndon’s Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998), 757; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Muddy, Coles County, IL, 82; Charles H. Coleman, Abraham Lincoln and Coles County, Illinois (New Brunswick, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1955), 29, 57, 64, 71-72, 77, 212.